If you count the tracks into Britomart as just reinstating a line that used to exist (which is true, although originally the tracks were at ground level), then the Manukau branch is the first piece of new track added to Auckland’s rail system since 1930 – when what we know now as the Eastern Line was constructed. This makes tomorrow’s opening of the branch (when normal timetables commence), along with the newly built Manukau Station, quite exciting.

The official opening of the station was last week, and today there is an open day for people to see through it and take short train rides. This is described further by Auckland Transport:

Auckland Transport is holding a community open day for the public to view the new Manukau Station and ride on the new rail line on Saturday 14 April from 11.30am to 2pm.

There will be station tours and information about the second stage of the station construction, short train rides, face painting, a celebrity sausage sizzle and music from DJ Sir-Vere. Parking is available in the Auckland Council staff car park.

Passenger services from the new station begin operating this Sunday 15 April.

Initially, Manukau Station will have three trains an hour in peak times and one train an hour at other times.

The 580 bus service from Botany, Flat Bush and Redoubt Rd will be extended to Manukau Station, and services increased, to provide a connection between trains and these suburbs.

A temporary entrance to the station on Davies Ave, next to Hayman Park, will be in place while construction continues above ground.

The second stage of the project is a $95 million integrated transport hub and tertiary campus at the Manukau city centre site.

Things are likely to start off fairly low-key for the new station – with the initial timetable somewhat disappointing and only one bus route integrated. However, over time this will change as the tertiary campus is constructed and as Manukau becomes the primary transport hub for all of south Auckland. The integration of this campus with the train station seems like it has been done really well – and in my opinion it’s a pretty groovy design too: 

Over time I also hope that some of those hugely wide roads surrounding the station will be narrowed down and made more pedestrian friendly. In any case, tomorrow is a huge step towards making Manukau City Centre a much nicer and less car dependent place.

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  1. Yay Manukau will be finally open. Although we are missing that South-to-Papakura link where your passengers are mainly going to come from :-/
    Oh well, lets all enjoy and celebrate the moment 🙂

    1. Although I agree that not building the southern link is a mistake I think you’re missing the point that large numbers of current students and staff at MIT live downtown or out west, in any case all the southern buses will be connecting into the station so people coming from that direction can easily get to Manukau too.

      1. It is not MIT I am concerned with as that is 18 months off.

        18 month gap and people already noting and complaining that they can not access Manukau from Manurewa and Papakura in the duration of that 18 month gap. You might have the 471 and 472 bus oh never mind – I am repeating myself here with that one.

        So no I am not missing the point with lack of south connection as MIT is not the sole customer here – the entire Manukau City Centre is…
        Also seems that south link might be a bit further off if Wiri is up for expansion

    1. It’s not the first suburban railway built in NZ – that honour would go to Waterloo, opened 85 years ago.

      And the “first new track added to Auckland’s rail system since 1930” implies that the branch lines to Southdown freight terminal and the Glenbrook steel mill are not considered to be in Auckland.

    1. Busy Busy day to day with transit displays

      BTW for our Transit ‘Nuts’ I expect some photos this evening 😉 – Please (manners of course 🙂 )

    2. Might have hop into my car and go take a look…

      I certainly couldn’t get a bus direct there from where I live and no real practical PT options exist – well Maxx says I can if I got a bus into Britomart and then back out again to Pakuranga, and I left about now I might just get there by 1:15pm today, or I could try the train to SP and a bus to Pakuranga from there, but then Maxx does show that as option, so I’d probably have to walk from SP to Reeves Road Pakuranga and in any case, I suspect it might be quicker, you know how it is with buses…

  2. I can’t get out there myself today but if anyone can then photos would be greatly appreciated. Get in touch with one of the bloggers via the Contact Us page.

  3. I’m looking forward to taking the first timetabled train departing from Britomart at 7.06am tomorrow. The MIT building design looks fantastic and it could become a really Auckland iconic building.

    I totally back-up what Ben says that it is incomprehensible that there is a large number of students that will come from Papakura and Manurewa who will have to first go up to Puhinui on a north-bound service and then switch to a south-bound into Manukau. I also cast doubt that there are large numbers of MIT students that will come from out west and the CBD when there are tertiary institutions like Unitec, AU (both CBD and Tamaki)and AUT that are much closer. Even AUT Akoranga and Massey Albany are arguably closer. I’d be very surprised if the vast majority of MIT students aren’t from South Auckland. Given that, why build a station at Manukau centre if many of those potential users are still going to have a more direct, faster commute by bus?

    This where the planners have got it wrong that Manukau is about Britomart-Manukau and v.v. It isn’t. To be successful it needs to be about intra-South Auckland travel for those in live in Manukau and the adjoining suburbs in the main. Now because of poor planning (having the inland port on the wrong side of the railway corridor) it’s going to take some major work to rectify this mistake, not for the first time in Auckland it pains me to say.

  4. Sorry for my negative post above. it’s exciting to see new rail in Auckland. Just a bummer that I think it’s not set up to realise its true potential.

  5. Does everyone remember the nasty design we had for the Manukau station before the MIT building was built on top? It looked pretty hideous! If someone has a photo can you guys share?

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